Position/s

Academic Staff
School of Psychology

Qualifications

B.Arch.St BA (Hons) PhD (Cantab)

Honours, awards and grants

GRANTS
2014 
   ARC Linkage Grant (3 years). Principal investigators: Stevens, Vincs, Leach, Nicholls, Old, DeLahunta & Kirsh.Thinking brains and bodies: distributed cognitionand dynamic memory in Australian Dance Theatre.
2013     ARC Discovery grant (3 years). Principal investigators: Nicholls, Loetscher & Spence. Close to me: The effect of distractors on spatial attention in healthy and clinical populations
2011     ARC Discovery grant (3 years). Principal investigators: Nicholls, Forte & Spence. Left to Right is Front to Back: Attentional distortions in near and far space for healthy and clinical populations
2009    ARC Discovery grant (4 years). Principal investigators: Nicholls & Bradshaw Left of centre: Attentional distortions in the mental representation of space in healthy and clinical populations
2005    ARC Discovery grant (3 years). Principal investigators: Nicholls, Mattingley & Bradshaw. Attentional biases that underlie free-viewing perceptual asymmetries: Endogenous and exogenous effects

EDITORIAL
Co-editor: Laterality
Associate Editor: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

Key responsibilities

Deputy Dean: School of Psychology
Head: Brain & Cognition Laboratory
Director: Flinders Institute of Psychological Science

Research expertise

  • Cognitive science
  • Neurosciences

Research interests

My research interests fall within the realm of cognitive neuroscience, which examines cognitive processes and how they relate to brain function. One specific interest is centred on the study of asymmetries in behavior and perception, which are tied to the lateralisation of brain function. Topics include handedness, spatial attention in clinical and healthy populations, language and facial expression and perception. I am also interested in how spatial attention is controlled by the brain and the links between attention in the various sensory modalities and spatial / representational dimensions.

Potential PhD Projects:
(1)  investigating the impact of social context upon our perception and action in the world
(2)  examining rehabilitation treatments of the neurological disorder spatial neglect
(3)  investigating how language affects our perception in space
(4)  handedness and its relation to personality and cognitive ability
(5)  the role of eye movements in attentional asymmetries.

Supervisory interests

  • Attention
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Laterality

RHD research supervision

Current

Principal supervisor : Cognitive neuroscience (4) ;

Publications

  • Loftus, A. and Nicholls, M. (2013). Testing the activation-orientation account of spatial attention using tDCS. 36th Eurpoean Conference on Visual Perception. Bremen, Germany. Aug 2013.
  • Loetscher, T., Nicholls, M., Thomas, N., Bulling, A., Clarke, G., Hayes, A., et al. (2013). Using eye-tracking glasses to evaluate the effect of visual scanning training on everyday activities. 10th Conference of the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Special Interest Group of the World Federation for Neuro Rehabilitation. Maastricht, Netherlands. Jul 2014.
  • Loetscher, T., Ma-Wyatt, A. and Nicholls, M. (2013). Numerosity is represented spatially: Evidence froma 'SNARC' task. 36th European Conference on Visual Perception. Bremen, Germany. Aug 2013.
  • Leggett, N., Thomas, N., Loetscher, T. and Nicholls, M. (2013). Happy and angry faces affect visual attention on the landmark task. 36th European Conference on Visual Perception. Bremen, Germany. Aug 2013.
  • Forte, J., Nicholls, M. and Spencer, C. (2013). Patterns of spatially dependent cueing on horizontal line bisection biases. 36th European Conference on Visual Perception. Bremen, Germany. Aug 2013.
  • McIlroy, A., Nicholls, M., Anderson, V., Spencer-Smith, C., Leventer, R. and Wood, A. (2013). Atypical bilateral frontal lobe activation during a language fMRI task in young people with agenesis of the corpus callosum. International Neuropsychological Society Mid Year Meeting. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Jul 2013.
  • Yates, M., Nemeh, F., Loetscher, T., Ma-Wyatt, A. and Nicholls, M. (2013). Small numerosities are associated with the left, large numerosities are associated with the right: Evidence from a SNARC task. 36th European Conference on Visual Perception. Bremen, Germany. Aug 2013.
  • Voigt, K., Yates, M., Loetscher, T., Ma-Wyatt, A. and Nicholls, M. (2013). Eye movements influence the magnitude of randomly generated numbers. 36th European Conference on Visual Perception. Bremen, Germany. Aug 2014.
  • Thomas, N., Loetscher, T. and Nicholls, M. (2013). Do we imagine clouds in the sky and snails on the ground - Can semantic meaning influence fixation time? Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference. Melbourne, Australia. Feb 2013.
  • Thomas, N., Castine, B., Loetscher, T. and Nicholls, M. (2013). Upper visual field distractors bias attention to the left. 4th Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference. Melbourne, Australia. Nov 2013.
  • Szpak, A., Loetscher, T., Thomas, N. and Nicholls, M. (2013). Looking the other way: How others can bias spatial attention. 36th European Conference on Visual Perception. Bremen, Germany. Aug 2013.
  • Nicholls, M., Hadgraft, N.T., Chapman, H.L., Loftus, A. and Bradshaw, J. (2013). An investigation of asymmetries in spatial attention and wheelchair navigation. American Psychological Association 2013 Annual Convention. Hawaii, USA. Jul 2014.
  • Nicholls, M. (2013). A rightward bias when navigating a wheelchair through a doorway. American Psychological Association Convention. Hawaii, United States. Aug 2013.
  • Forte, J., Spence, C. and Nicholls, M. (2012). Individual differences in spatially dependent and non-spatially dependent cueing effects in pseudoneglect. In 39th Australian Experimental Psychology Conference, Sydney, Australia. 39th Australian Experimental Psychology Conference, Sydney, Australia. Sydney, Australia. Apr 2012.
  • Loetscher, T., Baumann, H., Tamagni, C., Nicholls, M. and Brugger, P. (2012). Neglect of early relative to late events after right-hemisphere damage. In 39th Australian Experimental Psychology Conference, Sydney, Australia. 39th Australian Experimental Psychology Conference. Sydney, Australia. Apr 2012.
  • Yates, M., Vicario, C., Loetscher, T. and Nicholls, M. (2012). Prismatic lenses influence number choices in a random number generation task. In 39th Australian Experimental Psychology Conference, Sydney, Australia. 39th Australian Experimental Psychology Conference. Sydney, Australia. Apr 2012.
  • Yates, M., Vicario, C., Loetscher, T. and Nicholls, M. (2012). Prismatic lenses influence the magnitude of numbers selected in a random number generation task. In 5th International Conference on Spatial Cognition, Rome, Italy. 5th International Conference on Spatial Cognition. Rome, Italy. Sep 2012.
  • Thomas, N., Loetscher, T. and Nicholls, M. (2012). Central fixations with rightward deviations: Saccadic eye movements on the landmark task. In 3rd Annual North Sea Meeting on Brain Asymmetry, Ghent, Belgium. 3rd Annual North Sea Meeting on Brain Asymmetry. Ghent, Belgium. Oct 2012.
  • Thomas, N., Loetscher, T. and Nicholls, M. (2012). Central fixations with rightward deviations: Saccadic eye movements in pseudoneglect. In 39th Australian Experimantal Psychology Conference, Sydney, Australia. 39th Australian Experimental Psychology Conference. Sydney, Australia. Apr 2012.
  • Nicholls, M. and Lew, M. (2012). Time and relative numbers in space: The association may be a product of response bias. In 39th Australian Experimental Psychology Conference, Sydney, Australia. 39th Australian Experimental Psychology Conference. Sydney, Australia. Apr 2012.
  • Loetscher, T., Tamagni, C., Baumann, H., Nicholls, M. and Brugger, J. (2012). Impaired memory for early relative to late events in spatial neglect. In 5th International Conference on Spatial Cognition, Rome, Italy. 5th International Conference on Spatial Cognition. Rome, Italy. Sep 2012.
  • McIlroy, A., Wood, A.G., Anderson, V. and Nicholls, M. (2012). Social functioning in Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC): Investigating the role of facial emotion processing using cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging techniques. In Annual College of Clinical Neuropsychology Conference, Launceston, Tasmania. Annual College of Clinical Neuropsychology Conference. Launceston, Tasmania. Nov 2012.
  • Nicholls, M. (2012). An investigation of asymmetries in spatial attention and wheelchair navigation. In 3rd North Sea Meeting on Brain Asymmetries, Ghent, Belguim. 3rd North Sea Meeting on Brain Asymmetries. Ghent, Belgium. Oct 2012.
  • Loetscher, T., Baumann, H., Tamagni, C., Nicholls, M. and Brugger, P. (2011). Neglect of early relative to late events after right-hemisphere damange. In Mid-Year Meeting of the International Neuropsychology Society, Auckland, New Zealand. Mid-Year Meeting of the International Neuropsychology Society. Auckland, New Zealand. Jul 2011.
  • Nicholls, M., Johnston, D., Shah, M. and Shields, M. (2011). The truth about left handers. In Laterality Meeting, Auckland, New Zealand. Laterality Meeting. Auckland, New Zealand. Oct 2011.
  • Orr, C. and Nicholls, M. (2011). Face processing under conditions of attentional suppression: An attentional blink study. In European Conference on Visual Perception, Toulouse, France. European Conference on Visual Perception. Toulouse, France. Sep 2012.
  • Orr, C. and Nicholls, M. (2011). The effect of face and emotional face distracters on the attentinal blink. In EPC Meeting, Auckland, New Zealand. EPC Meeting. Auckland, New Zealand. Apr 2012.
  • Forte, J. and Nicholls, M. (2011). Pseudo neglect depends on the 3-D spatial configuration of a line bisection stimulus. In EPC Meeting, Auckland, New Zealand. EPC Meeting. Auckland, New Zealand. Apr 2012.
  • Yates, M., Loetscher, T. and Nicholls, M. (2011). The truth about left handers. In EPC Meeting, Auckland, New Zealand. EPC Meeting. Auckland, New Zealand. Apr 2012.
  • Vicario, C., Yates, M. and Nicholls, M. (2013). Shared deficits in space, time, and quantity processing in childhood genetic disorders. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(43)
    [10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00043]
  • Giummarra, M., Bradshaw, J., Nicholls, M., Georgiou-Karistianis, N. and Gibson, S. (2011). A sleeping phantom leg awakened following hemicolectomy, thrombosis, and chemotherapy: A case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 5(203)
    [10.1186/1752-1947-5-203]
  • Lim, V., Bradshaw, J., Nicholls, M. and Altenmuller, E. (2005). Enhanced P1-N1 auditory evoked potential in patients with musicians' cramp. In Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: The Neurosciences and Music II: From Perception to Performance. Malden, USA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.. The Neurosciences and Music II: From Perception to Performance. Leipzig, Germany. May 2005, pp. 349-359.
    [10.1196/annals.1360.029] [10.1196/annals.1360.029] [Scopus]
  • Churches, O., Callahan, R., Michalski, D., Brewer, N., Turner, E., Keage, H., et al. (2012). How academics face the world: A study of 5829 homepage pictures. PLoS One, 7(7) pp. e38940.
    [10.1371/journal.pone.0038940] [Scopus]
  • Giummarra, M., Bradshaw, J., Hilti, L., Nicholls, M. and Brugger, P. (2012). Paralyzed by desire: A new type of body integrity identity disorder. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, 25(1) pp. 34-41.
    [10.1097/WNN.0b013e318249865a] [Scopus]
  • Loetscher, T., Nicholls, M., Brodtmann, A., Thomas, N.A.M. and Brugger, P. (2012). Disentangling input and output-related components of spatial neglect. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6 pp. 176.
    [10.3389/fnhum.2012.00176] [Scopus]
  • Nicholls, M., Thomas, N.A.M., Loetscher, T., Wignall, S.J., Yates, M., Forte, J., et al. (2012). The relationship between vertical stimulation and horizontal attentional asymmetries. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65(12) pp. 2384-2396.
    [10.1080/17470218.2012.688979] [Scopus]
  • Thomas, N.A.M., Loetscher, T. and Nicholls, M. (2012). Central fixations with rightward deviations: saccadic eye movements on the landmark task. Experimental Brain Research, 220(1) pp. 29-39.
    [10.1007/s00221-012-3113-9] [Scopus]
  • Thomas, N.A.M., Loetscher, T., Clode, D. and Nicholls, M. (2012). Right-wing politicians prefer the emotional left. PLoS One, 7(5) pp. e36552.
    [10.1371/journal.pone.0036552] [Scopus]
  • Giummarra, M., Bradshaw, J., Nicholls, M., Hilti, L. and Brugger, P. (2011). Body integrity identity disorder: Deranged body processing, right front-parietal dysfunction, and phenomenological experience of body incongruity. Neuropsychology Review, 21(4) pp. 320-333.
    [10.1007/s11065-011-9184-8] [Scopus]
  • Giummarra, M.J., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Nicholls, M.E.R., Gibson, S.J., Chou, M. and Bradshaw, J. (2011). The menacing phantom: What pulls the trigger? European Journal of Pain, 15(7) pp. 691.
    [10.1016/j.ejpain.2011.01.005] [Scopus]
  • Nicholls, M., Forte, J., Loetscher, T., Orr, C., Yates, M. and Bradshaw, J. (2011). Near, yet so far: The effect of pictorial cues on spatial attention. Brain and Cognition, 76(3) pp. 349-352.
    [10.1016/j.bandc.2011.04.006] [Scopus]
  • Yates, M. and Nicholls, M. (2011). Somatosensory prior entry assessed with temporal order judgments and simultaneity judgments. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 73(5) pp. 1586-1603.
    [10.3758/s13414-011-0117-7] [Scopus]

Contact

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Phone: +61 8 82012425
Email:
Location: Social Sciences North (351)
Postal address: GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Further information

For a full list of grants and publications, click here.

To visit the Brain and Cognition Laboratory webpage, click here.

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